A grocery shopping service initiated by a Moraine Valley student and her brother for area senior citizens and others most at risk to contract the coronavirus has grown to 14 chapters across the United States.

Inspired by the need of an elderly family member, Katelyn Arundel, a nursing student at Moraine Valley, and Michael Arundel, a student at the University of Alabama, are seeing their “Leave it to Us,” shopping service, created in March, rapidly expand throughout the Chicagoland area. The service has grown to include chapters in Ohio, New York, Utah, Virginia, Louisiana, North Carolina, three in Alabama and four in California.

“My father’s second cousin, Marge, is 84 years old and needed some shopping. She mentioned her friends were in need, too, and having trouble finding items,” said Katelyn, of Orland Park. “We saw the need from the ones closest to us and decided there is a greater need in all communities in the senior population. We created a nonprofit organization to help seniors purchase their groceries without leaving their home so they can remain safe.”

Katelyn says the response to this no-fee service has been very positive.

“We have received great feedback from some very happy seniors. Some have cried of joy over the phone as they were previously running out of food. Many seniors have health issues, as well as having no family around to help them. We are elated we can help the most vulnerable population, especially during this hard time.”

The Arundel siblings have no intention of stopping the service any time soon, and are actively recruiting new shoppers to help in the cause. “We will continue as long as there is a need,” Katelyn said. “We are happy to have the seniors rely on us.” Most of the shoppers are college-aged students.

“Katelyn and her brother, Michael, are providing such a crucial service to those in need. This is a challenging time for so many, especially our senior population. These two young people, and all who are volunteering to shop, are our future leaders and as such, are setting a wonderful example for others to follow. We couldn’t be any prouder of them,” said Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, Moraine Valley president.

For more information and to schedule a shopper or volunteer as a shopper, visit covidseniorshoppers.com. Those in the Chicagoland area also can send an email to michael@covidshoppers.com or call (708) 289-5252.